I wasn’t entirely sure how to title this, but I wanted to sit down and write about it anyway. While this isn’t a weight loss tips, tricks, or advice post, it still involves my weight loss journey in a very major way. I just have no way to explain or classify it.
Eating magically got easier
The past few weeks I have experienced this weird phenomenon where my appetite has seemed to disappear. Out of nowhere, I have noticed that I’m no longer craving sweet things (I will sing a loud Hallelujah to that!), and in general, I don’t really have the desire to eat much anymore. Before any of you panic, don’t worry. I am most definitely not starving myself. I’m making sure I eat enough and supplementing plenty with protein bars, but I legitimately don’t have the desire to run to the pantry or fridge and hunt down something to eat.
Okay, let me modify that a little bit. I do in fact give in to the urge to go to the pantry and fridge and browse for something to eat, but after looking around for 15 seconds, I see nothing that jumps out at me as something I want, so I close the door and walk away empty handed. That’s the significant detail here. Nothing is sparking my interest enough to motivate me to make a poor choice.
Pumpkin spice season is here, and with it comes a ton of grocery store finds and pumpkin recipes popping up everywhere. This year I have been so intrigued by the overnight oats train that everyone seems to be a part of, I wanted to combine the two and come up with some pumpkin oats that are Weight Watchers friendly.
After exploring some basic overnight oats recipes to understand things like the oats to liquid ratio and the general idea of how to build an overnight oats recipe, I finally came up with one that I love, and have made many times this year already. It has several ingredients for flavor: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, stevia, and even sugar-free maple syrup (game changer). While it seems a tad elaborate, the flavor this mixture brings promises to start your brisk fall morning with a filling breakfast that screams “it’s fall! Hooray!!”
A few things to note:
I tend to make this in batches, so I’ll fill 4 or 5 Mason Jars at a time. Even if they are sitting in the refrigerator for a few days, they still taste great. It just lets the flavors blend even more
There’s no rule that says you have to eat them heated up. It’s just how I prefer to consume my oats.
I use cinnamon crunch Quest protein powder, but you can use other flavors like vanilla or salted caramel.
You can also use other brands of protein powder if you wish, but changing the brand might change the Smart Points value of your oats. Adjust your tracking accordingly.
That’s it! I hope you enjoy my recipe 🙂
5 SP Pumpkin Spice Protein Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are a great way to get your mornings started off on the right track by making your breakfast ahead of time. These Pumpkin Spice oats are filled with protein to keep you full, and are only 5 Weight Watchers Smart Points.
1/2 C Canned Pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) (0 sp)
1 Scoop Quest Protein Powder (I use Cinnamon Crunch, but I imagine vanilla or salted caramel would work well too)(1 sp)
1 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (0 sp)
1 Tsp Cinnamon (0 sp)
1 0 Calorie Sweetener Packet (I use Stevia)(0 sp)
1 Tbsp Sugar Free Maple Syrup (0 sp) *This makes it a bit creamier and oh so good*
Vanilla to taste (0 sp)
A Mason Jar (or some other container to store it in)
Mix everything together and put in container (It's really that easy)
Let container sit in refrigerator overnight (Note: I actually make several jars at once, so some sit for a few days. It's totally fine.
Remove lid and microwave oats until they reach your desired temperature, stirring occasionally (I typically microwave for a minute a time, stirring after each one. 3 minutes usually does the trick)
Sit down with your cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a protein packed breakfast that brings fall to your table.
Tip: While it really is as simple as mixing everything together, I have found it easiest to mix things outside the jar (in a bowl), starting with the almond milk and pumpkin first and adding the oats last. This makes sure the protein powder and spices are mixed thoroughly and evenly throughout.
It’s hard to believe that September has come and gone already! I actually sent an email out to my family telling them they need to start thinking about (and sending me) their Christmas lists. Christmas!! It’s crazy how fast this year is flying by.
September was a busy month, as most months for the rest of 2017 promise to be. While I was spending a lot of time running around like a mad woman, I did have enough time to discover and fall in love with some new products. This month we’ve got some beauty stuff right alongside a few food and health related items. Every single product is something I’ve been using and loving constantly throughout the month, and I feel the need to share so you can enjoy them too!
I’m not going to lie to you. I love earning rewards. I am most definitely motivated to get things done by the fact I know there is a special treat waiting for me at the finish line. It doesn’t matter if the task is getting a blog post up, getting the house cleaning done, or hitting another 5 lbs lost, I will always do a better and more efficient job with my tasks if I know there is something I’m working toward. I know, getting the thing done should be reward enough, but I’m a huge sucker for positive reinforcement, and lately, I’ll do anything to help me avoid procrastination and get things done.
If you know me, you know that weight loss is one of my long-term, big deal goals. For many people (myself included) it isn’t uncommon to have the reward for a job well done be a food related treat. While this is great in theory (and some days it’s totally worth it), when one of your major goals is weight loss and healthy living, rewarding yourself with food is as counterproductive as it gets. If you reward yourself with a big old piece of cake and ice cream for seeing a loss on the scale this week… it just doesn’t make sense! That being said, I want to have plenty of options for how to reward myself without adding to my calorie intake, so I came up with a whole list of ways to treat yourself without food.
Nowadays I feel like everyone has an activity tracker hanging out on their wrist. It is a well-known fact that movement is super important, and not only to those of us trying to lose weight. It is recommended that everyone get 10,000 steps in every single day. While for some this might seem like nothing, to others this could very well be a lofty, seemingly unattainable goal. In a world of Fitbits and other activity trackers being the norm, I wanted to offer up 10 ways you can get a little bit closer to hitting that 10k step goal. Now, any one of these tips is not going to get you all the way there on its own, but if you combine a few of these suggestions, I’m willing to bet you’ll be at that magical 10k before you know it. Ready to get moving? Here we go!
We all know that weight loss is essentially one giant mathematical equation: if calories in are less than calories out, you will lose weight. Plain and simple. We also all know there are healthy foods, less healthy foods, and that exercise will help you boost your calorie burn. What I find more interesting are the unexpected things that help me along my weight loss journey. While I’m sure there are more, I put together a list of my top 5 unexpected things that help you lose weight.
#1 Getting a Dog
You all know by now that I rang in the new year by bringing home our little Yorkie, Gracie on the first day of 2017. Since she’s a tiny pup that we’re pad training, we haven’t had a need to take her out for a walk in the freezing weather. Now that it’s warming up, we’re going on daily walks to train her how to behave on a leash and help her get some extra energy out. While this is great for her, it also helps me get extra steps in that I wouldn’t have otherwise. On today’s walk, I gained 3000 steps, which is 1/4 of my daily step goal, and those steps are in addition to what I normally do daily. If you add up all of those walks that are for the dog’s benefit, that could most definitely add up to a few fewer pounds on the scale.
For me, one of the most difficult parts of this entire weight loss journey is knowing how to make the right choices when a craving strikes. Whether it be for the jar of peanut butter, a delicious piece of pizza, or the Hersey’s kisses in the candy jar, I get cravings regularly, and they’re often the reason my day doesn’t go as planned. Let’s face it, if we didn’t have to fight off cravings, odds are we wouldn’t be in the situation where we need to lose weight anyway, right? What’s a gal to do?
What we need are ways to conquer our cravings so we can take back control and eat the things we want when we decide to rather than allow a craving to decide for us. Here are 6 tips to help you (and me) beat those cravings next time we’re wanting something that doesn’t fit into our day.
Well hello there. Welcome to a brand new section of my blog that I’ve decided to call “The Diva Diaries.” I was inspired by the book I’m currently reading, The Adventures of Dietgirl, to start a journaling section of the site that I can basically treat like a much less formal (I know my blog isn’t “formal” anyway,) place where I basically write as if I was writing in my notebook journal. The book is the story of one woman’s weight loss journey all written in journal entry format, and the more I read, the more I was feeling compelled to do something similar.
I’m not sure what you can expect from my Diva Diaries posts because it’s a journal, so it’s going to be whatever is on my mind. My goal is to center it around my ongoing weight loss journey, but you never know where my mind might go. What I can promise is plenty of struggles, discoveries, victories, failures, and everything else that goes into this crazy little thing called life
On Tuesday’s vlog, I decided to ask if you would like to see some more journal type entries from me, like what I was reading in the book, and there were enough people who said yes that I decided it was a go! So last night I created an image, and the Diva Diaries was born.
I weigh in tomorrow, so things will officially start then!
I know I’m a little behind, it being almost the end of January and all, but better late than never, right? As I’ve mentioned in vlogs over on my YouTube channel, 2016 was a year of me failing to reach my goals. I just wasn’t motivated, and was easily distracted and discouraged so not much got done. This year, I have some goals (some old, some new) that I’m hoping to achieve. Along with the new goals comes a fresh new dose of motivation. I’m hoping to buckle down and really make 2017 the best year yet.
My number one goal is to get back down to my goal weight. The only thing is..I don’t know what my new goal weight is yet. Last time I hit goal, I weighed 135lbs, but it turns out that was a little too thin for my body, and certain parts of me looked too bony. That being said, I clearly overcompensated with fixing that problem. This time around, I plan on starting the journey back down (because no change really happened in 2016), but I’ll lose at least 15 lbs and then I’ll play it by ear.
I want to focus more on being healthy and fit rather than just losing weight, so who knows what my body will look like, but I do know I want to fit back into my goal jeans (aka my pair of clearance jeans from American Eagle I had as my goal jeans last time). I love those jeans. We’ll just have to see what the final number ends up being, but I’m hoping to reach it in 2017.
Your repairman has his truck full of tools, a teacher has supplies, and even Batman has his utility belt. Everyone has some sort of toolkit so they can do their job to the best of their ability. Losing weight is no different. In order to successfully lose weight, it really helps to have a toolkit (or a utility belt, if you want to go the superhero route) to help you get the most out of your weight loss efforts. While everyone’s toolkit will look a little bit different based on personal preferences, I thought I’d share my tools with you to give you a basic guideline to help you create a toolkit of your very own. Some of my tools are actual physical items while others are more mental or non-tangible, but I find both categories to be equally important as I go along my journey to the healthiest me I can be.
I am never without a water bottle, and if for some reason I am, I promise I’m not happy about it. At any given time I have 2 “active” water bottles; one with a straw for while I’m at home, as I find I drink more water when it’s through a straw and one that is more secure for when I’m on the go. Hydration is so important, both for health and for weight loss, so I always have a water bottle nearby to encourage me to get my daily requirement of H2O.
A Food Scale
No matter which plan you use to lose weight, odds are it involves portioning your food in some way. I find this easiest when I’m using an electronic food scale. When meal time comes around, I just put the plate on the scale and can measure each meal component separately (hit the “zero” button to start fresh) and easily so I know exactly how many Smart Points (or calories) I put on my plate. I find there is a lot less room for error measuring the weight og your food rather than cups or tablespoons.
Whether you join Weight Watchers, Beach Body, you use My Fitness Pal, or you decide to just count calories on your own, you need to have some sort of plan when it comes to losing weight. You can’t just say “I’m going to lose weight” and have it magically happen (I wish!). You know there are going to be lifestyle changes and maybe even a sacrifice or two in order to see changes in your body, and to achieve that successfully, odds are you have some desired method to get there. That’s also known as a plan. Get one.
Sleep is another one of those life essentials, but it’s something that many of us take for granted or forget to place importance on. Have you ever noticed what happens to your food intake on a day that you don’t get enough sleep? It’s very likely that your day is played out in one of two scenarios. 1: You stick to your diet plan all day (good for you!), but you spend the day drowsy, grumpy, and likely overcaffeinated but still unable to perform to the best of your ability. Scenario 2: You are likely making poor food choices because you’re using food to not only satiate hunger but to gain extra energy to make up for the lack of sleep. Guess what type of foods we usually reach for.. sugary and fatty quick jolts of energy that last until the next time we can put something in our mouths to refuel. This is not helping your diet at all. Getting a quality night’s sleep as often as possible will help you stay away from impulse eating due to hunger. Get those Zzzzs to lose the lbs.
A Food Journal
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Studies have shown that people who write down what they eat will consume 30% fewer calories than people who don’t. Whether you use an app like Weight Watchers or My Fitness Pal or you decide to use the tried and true notebook and pen, use something to keep track of your food intake. This helps me to see what I’ve eaten, or more importantly, what I can still eat and remain on track.
A Goal (or several small goals)
Goals help keep me motivated. I typically set large goals (to get back to my goal weight) supported and broken up by smaller goals (to drink 100oz of water daily or to reach 12,500 steps) to help me stay on track. When we reach a goal we get to enjoy the positive feeling of accomplishing something, so smaller goals are great for giving us little things to accomplish while we work toward the bigger goal.
What is your “why?” In other words, why do you want to lose weight? Is it so you can run around and play with your children, so you look better and feel more confident naked? Maybe you just want to fit back into your favorite pair of jeans. Having a “why” is not the same as having a goal. Your “why” is the motivation behind your goals. It’s the big picture and the reason you got inspired to set your goal to lose weight in the first place. Once you’ve established your “why” take the time to embrace it. Leave yourself little motivational reminders that constantly inspire you to make the better food choice or to go for an extra walk. The “why” is the root of everything. If you haven’t figured out what it is yet, take the time to do that now.
A stash of go-to snacks
Once you’ve figured out your plan of action, it’s incredibly important to find your favorite foods in that plan. I have a stash of go to Weight Watchers friendly foods and snacks that are easily available should hunger strike in between meals. Having diet friendly snack options around is an easy way to save you from yourself at a time when willpower won’t necessarily be at its strongest.
An Activity Tracker
I love my Fitbit. It turns every single day into a goal and a game. Every day I compete with myself to make it to my daily step goal, but if I want to take the game to the next level, FitBit allows me to compete with friends. There have definitely been days where I’ve been pushed harder simply because I was in a race to get more steps than a friend of mine. All competitive games aside, an activity tracker is a great way for you to get more accurate insight on how much activity you’re actually getting on a daily basis. I’m willing to bet a pretty high percentage of people greatly overestimate how much activity they’re getting on a daily basis. Whether FitBit is your tracker of choice or you prefer another brand, I highly suggest investing in an activity tracker to help you take your weight loss efforts to the next level.
A selection of easy to make recipes
Just like being prepared for a snack attack is important, it’s also important to have a few easy, diet-friendly recipes that you enjoy enough to make regularly. When you have simple recipes to pick from it’s less of a hassle to make dinner at the end of a long day when your desire might be to run to the nearest fast food restaurant to grab dinner because the thought of making it is exhausting. In my house, we often eat basic chicken with quinoa and veggies on the weekend and I will often spend a few hours in the kitchen chopping all sorts of veggies and meat to meal prep for the entire week. Then, when dinner time for one comes around, all I have to do is turn on the oven and pull out one of my pre-made meals out of the fridge. Easy and healthy.
I am a very reward driven person. If I’m told I can earn something awesome for finishing a task, I’m much more likely to do it. I love applying this principle to losing weight. If I’ve had a good week where I stay on track and hit the gym regularly, I might treat myself to an at-home spa night. If I’ve lost 5 lbs, it’s probably time for a pedicure. 10 lbs = a new pair of cute pants. See what I’m getting at? It’s a little bit easier for me to think twice about the late night snack attack or skipping the gym when I know that new lipstick I’ve been dying to try is on the line. While the rewards themselves can look different for everyone, a rewards system is a nice way to treat yourself for a job well done.
Those are some of my favorite items in my weight loss tool kit. Becuase everyone’s journey is unique, everyone will have a slightly different tool kit. What is important is you find the set of tools that work best for you. A good tool kit is like an awesome sidekick. You might succeed without it, but it will be a heck of a lot easier to get the job done with the extra help.
What kind of items are in your weight loss tool kit?